While staying in and around Boom and DreamVille is fun for Tomorrowland, since you've travelled from a ways away, these are some of the most treasured spots that are worth checking out. From museums to nature reserves, here’s all the things to do that are free in Tomorrowland's host country, Belgium.
1. Street art sightseeing
Belgium has an active street art community that matches the energy of Tomorrowland's creative scene and festival goers. Put your walking shoes on and get ready for a modern graffiti art gallery in the city. Take off on your own for an independent walk of Belgian cities, use maps to catch all the art you can, or book a guided tour for even more info on the city.
Graffiti Alley (Werregarenstraat)
🧭 Ghent, East Flanders
The most well-known street art spot in Ghent, it’s been a graffiti gallery in an alley since 1995. Anyone, from new budding artists to the experienced, can get a can and give it a go. Add your mark to the graffiti alley. Plus, Ghent has tons of other street art to see across the whole city. Get a map to easily find all the artsy spots of the city.
Oostende Street Art
🧭 Ostend, West Flanders
Come along to the Crystal Ship festival for a free to see street art event. Graffiti artists make Ostend into their canvas every year. Even if you can’t make it on the day to see the fresh art being made, like Ghent, Ostend has lots of street art all over the city after the festival. For this street art sightseeing activity, you actually have the option of a free guided tour using Facebook Messenger.
Check out all the free art here
2. Relax in parks in the middle of the city
You can always grab a picnic basket for an easy, budget day at the park. But lots of parks in Belgium have unique things to do that make them more than a cute picnic stage while still keeping the fairytale-like vibes of Tomorrowland.
Park Spoor Noord
🧭 Antwerp, Flanders
A green space in the north of Antwerp, Park Spoor Noord is perfect for a day out in the summer. Get a cocktail in the park or even try out skateboarding. The park is known for its unique and Insta-worthy bridge, that is cyclist and pedestrian friendly.
Parc du Cinquantenaire
A beautiful park in the heart of Brussels full of hidden gems. This park was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the independence of Brussels, so the city went all out in its grandeur. The park is home to the biggest mosque in the city, the Great Mosque of Brussels. Tons of museums are around here too. In the summer, the park has an awesome little cozy pop-up bar. Make sure you check out all the city parks. Brussels is really an enjoyable green city due to the beautiful numerous parks here that are packed with historical buildings here.
3. Check out the big city squares - in small or big cities!
Drop by the main square of the city to see historical sights. Just don’t splurge too much as they’re usually tourist centres! Each Belgian city square has a story behind it, so they’re in city walking tours and included all the time in guides. If you’re looking for free stuff to do, you’ll often find buskers, historic buildings, and other sights to see in and around the city squares.
Antwerp Grote Markt
🧭 Antwerp, Flanders
When you see pictures of Antwerp, you’re bound to see the Brabo fountain. The fountain shows a hero of legend throwing a giant’s hand. This story is supposedly where Antwerp got its name (Antwerp literally means hand throw). The town hall is also here, plus the oldest building in Antwerp (Steen Castle) is just a stone throw away.
City Centre of Tongeren
🧭 Tongeren, Limburg
Tongeren is the oldest city in Belgium. It’s been around since the 4th century. Seriously. Some of the city’s old history is still around including the 13th century belfry tower and begijnhof. History and culture hunters will have a great time searching for the past amongst the present.
Check out more city squares here!
4. Free museum days
Your authentic local travel trip to Belgium won’t be complete without some museum highlights. Museums are full of history and culture. They're a must for urban explorers and family travels too. But those museum charges sure can add up!
Don’t miss the free museum days. Antwerp and Brussels both have free museums to visit! Even if you can’t make it on the free day, check out what discounts are available to get the best deal possible. Bring your Student ID for tons of cheap museum ticket options. Museums are cheap things to do in Belgium, especially when you know what you want to see.
Fashion & Lace Museum
Here for fashion? The Fashion & Lace Museum is one of the top free things to do in Brussels. Discount hunters eat your heart out! Museums make for a great cheap thing to do in Brussels, especially when you come by on the free museum day. Drop by on the first Sunday of the month for a free visit to see all about Belgium’s fashion history.
Can’t come to Brussels on the free museum day? There’s another cheap cheat option for you. The Fashion & Lace Museum is totally free with the Brussels City Card.
Discounts: No card? No worries. If you can’t get a free museum visit, try seeing if you’re eligible for a discount. Students need to bring their Student ID with them for the absolute best deals.
For free things to do in Antwerp, museums should be at the top of your list. While Brussels has the most free museums in Belgium on the free museum days, Antwerp still has enough to keep you busy.
MAS is a totally free museum to visit on the last Wednesday of the month! Come on by to the Museum aan de Stroom to discover Antwerp’s port city history and more. It’s the biggest museum in Antwerp and popular for a reason. Check out the rooftop entrance for a panoramic view of Antwerp.
Discounts: Can’t come to Antwerp on the free museum day? No worries. Museums are still a cheap thing to do in Antwerp. Get your money’s worth by checking out the discounts. If you’re 25 or under, you can get in for just 3€!
5. Explore some nature
Nature is one free thing to do you can always rely on - and since Tomorrowland is already located outdoors in Boom, you're not too far away from the other sites. Mother Nature has your back. Belgium is full of cheap things to do in the park and nature reserves. Stretch your legs for a freeing walk out in the woods or bring your bike along on a cycling trip for a cheap day out in nature.
Belgium has lots of beautiful heath landscapes to enjoy. Kalmthoutse is a free to wander nature reserve full of life. From green forests to sandy and dry heaths, Kalmthoutse serves you natural Belgian looks at every turn.
Hoge Kempen National Park
This national park is actually the biggest nature reserve in Belgium, so you’ve got lots of space to explore on a budget. Don’t miss the uphill hike and views at Connecterra! The Kattevennen and Oudsberg parts of the park have lots of hiking and cycling trails that are free to use. Perfect for nature explorers! Other activities like the cosmodrome, wellness centre spa, and Connecterra, have a small fee.
6. Pedal to the metal
Get those wheels turning. Belgium has tons of beautiful cycling trails throughout the countryside and cities too. Whether you’re after a challenge or beginner-friendly cycling path, Belgium has something for you. But there’s two cycling tracks that any cyclist should add to their list.
Biking through the trees at Bosland
This free 700m cycling track is a popular spot due to its stunning track around the tall trees. Cyclists and mountain bikers both have options here. Going in the morning will help you avoid the crowds!
Maerlant Bicycle Trail
Can you go the distance? This 55km cycling trail is a well-known and much loved route for cyclists after Belgian countryside views. Cross through a village, see classic windmills, and use a self-service ferry as you go across the easy going, free, flat route.
7. Castle and fairytale sightseeing
Located right where Tomorrowland is hosted, this huge free outdoor park and has 7 gigantic trolls that lurk throughout the forest. We're not kidding, the trolls were made for Tomorrowland in 2019 by a Danish artist, Thomas Dambo, but since then they have remained scattered throughout the park. Made out of twigs, reused pallets, recycled wood - some of the trolls are even up to 18 metres high!
Aside from the world-class top lineups at Tomorrowland, the festival always create jaw-dropping stages year after year. Remember the dragon in the Rose Garden? Or the huge Pocahontas-like magical tree stage? Well Bornem Castle ooks like it could be another venue in Tomorrowland's Brothers Grimm-esque design. While guided tours cost extra, you can admire the opulent exterior of the castle's towers and roam around the park for free, including the walking trails.